Complex Systems

Darwin's Continent Cycle Theory and Its Simulation by the Prisoner's Dilemma Download PDF

Heinz Muhlenbein
GMD Schloss Birlinghoven,
D-5205 Sankt Augustin 1, Germany


Theoretical biology has largely ignored Darwin's true evolution model. In his famous book about the origin of species, Darwin detailed the importance of a population structure on evolution. He conjectured that a large continent that exists for long periods in a broken condition will be the most favorable for the production of many new forms of life. We call this conjecture Darwin's continent cycle theory. In this paper we investigate some of Darwin's arguments in support of his theory by simulating an artificial ecology with the parallel genetic algorithm. The artificial ecology consists of a population playing the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma. The major emphasis of this paper is on the methodological questions of the simulation. These are the genetic representation, the mapping of the genotypes to phenotypes, and the spatial population structure.